O'Meley prepared for Bulldogs ambush - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Meley prepared for Bulldogs ambush

By Todd Balym 26/06/2008 04:17:19 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters stand-in captain Mark O'Meley says his side is ready for a Bulldogs ambush on Friday night, even if the threat is coming from a team of "big softies".

O'Meley will lead his new club into battle against his former side as he steps into the captaincy role for the first time in 10 NRL seasons because the Roosters are missing six Origin stars.

The loss of the Roosters rep players has not only robbed the club of two captains - Craig Fitzgibbon and Braith Anasta - but it has also left O'Meley as the only former Dog of the four at the club to face his old teammates at the Sydney Football Stadium.

As the last man standing O'Meley knows he'll cop the full brunt of the 'Dogs pack inspired by the return of sledgehammer hitter Sonny Bill Williams and fired up to end a three-game losing slump.

"I'm sure they're going to target me but that's footy, I'm used to that," he said.

"I know all the blokes and I know they're all big softies down there.

"The Dogs have had a couple of bad losses and we have some players out so the hype is not there (as it was in round four) but I'm sure the hatred is still there between the two clubs.

"I don't think any player on the field is going to take a backward step."

O'Meley is expecting the type of confrontational football he enjoys as the Dogs chase lost respect after last week's humiliating 40-point loss to Canberra.

But the Roosters prop says this batch of young chooks have their own pride to restore after they were belted 42-0 by Manly the last time their Origin stars were away on duty.

"The Manly game was something for us to learn. They came out and just gave it to us and ambushed us and we weren't ready for it," O'Meley said.

"This week we've come and spoke about all different options and put ourselves in different situations that can happen in games so I think we should be prepared a lot better than the Manly game."

O'Meley, a 27-year-old former Test and NSW star, says he has been waiting a long time for the chance to be captain.

He's so chuffed at his rise to skipper that he has even scribbled a little (c) on the club cap he wears at training, while teammates report he's so fired up this week they've caught him talking to his quadriceps.

The eccentric big man refuted suggestions he'd begun talking to himself, but has vowed to lead his men with actions and not words this week as he is determined to continue his 100 per cent record as captain from Australian Schoolboys and Central Coast rep sides.

"I look forward to helping the boys out here and putting my hand up while we've got a few blokes out," he said.

"I'm really trying to enjoy having these young kids coming up and playing with me ... this is a highlight for me and something I'm going to remember."

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